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May 1, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After a season that saw the South Carolina women’s golf team earn the first No. 1 ranking in program history, head coach Kalen Anderson has been named SEC Coach of the Year as selected by the league’s head coaches, the conference office announced Friday. Gamecock senior Justine Dreher was named co-Scholar Athlete of the Year and also earned First-Team All-SEC honors for the second-straight season. Sophomore Katelyn Dambaugh garnered Second-Team All-SEC honors for the second year in a row.

Anderson and the Gamecocks reached new heights in the 2014-15 season. After climbing to a program-high No. 4 in the Golfstat rankings in 2013-14, South Carolina earned its first No. 1 ranking from the organization after capturing the ANNIKA Intercollegiate to open the season. South Carolina has not fallen out of Golfstat’s top three this season and was tabbed as one of four No. 1 seeds for upcoming NCAA Regional play.

With the program’s best-ever team scoring average by more than a stroke at 290.76, Anderson’s Gamecocks captured two tournament wins this season and saw two individuals clinch medalist honors. At least one South Carolina golfer has finished in the top five on the individual leaderboard in eight of nine events this season.

South Carolina has finished in the top five in its last 15 regular-season stoke-play events under Anderson’s leadership and has captured the runner-up spot at the last two SEC Championships. The Gamecocks are seeking their sixth-straight trip to the NCAA Championships. Anderson joins Kristi Coggins (1999) as the only Gamecock women’s golf SEC Coach of the Year honorees.

Dreher started her season in style at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate by taking medalist honors. In her breakout weekend, Dreher posted back-to-back 68s on her way tying the program’s lowest individual 54-hole score (207) for her first collegiate win. The Valbonne, France, native’s steady production has her poised to set the lowest single-season scoring average in program history at 72.28. Dreher has been the team’s top finisher at four events this season while landing a spot in the top five in five of this year’s nine tournaments. Dreher shines when the spotlight is on, finishing in the top-12 in all four of her SEC Championship appearances. The sport and entertainment management major is the second Scholar Athlete of the Year in program history (Whitney Simons, 2006). She is also the fourth Gamecock to earn multiple first-team nods.

Dambaugh is playing her best golf at the right time, posting back-to-back top-five finishes entering NCAA Regional play. First, she fired a 66 in the second round of the PING/ASU Invitational on her way to a fifth-place result. A week later at SEC Championships, the Goose Creek, S.C., native tied the program and event record with a 7-under 65. Dambaugh and Dreher tied for fourth at the conference event to lead the Gamecocks to a second-place finish for the second consecutive year. The sophomore owns a 73.54 career stroke average, which sits at the top of the Gamecock record book. Her 2014-15 season stroke average of 73.30 is on pace to be the fourth-best all-time. Dambaugh earned Second-Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team accolades last season.

The Gamecocks will be back in action next week, traveling to Raleigh, N.C., for the NCAA East Regional. Play is set for May 7-9 at the Lonnie Pool Golf Club.

Bianca Fabrizio, Texas A&M (SEC Championship Medalist)
Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M
Marijosse Navarro, Texas A&M
Gabriela Lopez, Arkansas
Madelene Sagstrom, LSU
Justine Dreher, South Carolina
Allyson McDonald, Mississippi State
Caroline Nistrup, LSU

Emma Talley, Alabama
Chieh Jessica Peng, Mississippi State
Anna Newell, Tennessee
Jennifer Hahn, Vanderbilt
Lucia Polo, Tennessee
Elise Bradley, LSU
Regina Plasencia, Arkansas
Katelyn Dambaugh, South Carolina

Kalen Anderson, South Carolina

Madelene Sagstrom, LSU

Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M

*Justine Dreher, South Carolina
*Lucia Polo, Tennessee

Maddie Szeryk, Texas A&M
Anna Newell, Tennessee
Cindy Ha, Vanderbilt
Sophia Schubert, Auburn
Lakareber Abe, Alabama
Taylor Tomlinson, Florida
Kelli Murphy, Auburn

* – Indicates a tie